Calls for investigating the king for crimes against humanity grows as evidence mounts on wanton nature of army killings

What started as a demand for a Prime Minister to be elected by the people has moved to a demand for the king to be prosecuted after the army butchered as many as 60 people all over the country. Already, The Bridge has it in authority that the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) has briefed Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana SC, Muzi Sikhakhane SC and Sha’ista Kazee to go into the country to investigate cases of gross human rights violations and advise if the head of state can be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. A Special Investigation mission to eSwatini has been established whose job is to investigate if a case can be made for crimes against humanity charge especially as the list of people killed by the government continues to grow by the day.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has already sent their pathologist to Good Shepherd Hospital in Siteki to investigate the nature and cause of many of the deaths. This comes at a time when evidence is mounting that the army was shooting people randomly and continue to do so for those they accuse of not respecting the curfew. For example, Henry Fakudze (67), a Construction Officer at the King's Office, was shot twice on the stomach and buttocks while driving a South African registered car belonging to the King's Office. He died on the spot. Fakudze was not an isolated incident as four young people from Lobamba were killed by soldiers after false information had been circulated that they were seen with political activist Peter Mphandlana Shongwe. Among the four was Bruno Matimela who was killed after buying 'chicken dust' at Lobamba.  Matimela was a known member of the King’s regiment.

One of the army victims who was beaten to near death

Maveni Gwebu, a Journalist at the Eswatini Broadcasting Services, was shot in the foot for being on the wrong side of the army imposed curfew. Sicelo Mabuza, a 25 years old man from Manzini, was allegedly hacked to death between June 29th and 30th. According to a friend, Vusi Nxumalo, Mabuza was a recent graduate of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and was buried last week. Melusi Ndwandwe (16) a form three student at Mpofu High School, was shot and killed for not respecting the curfew. Meanwhile, Bhekisisa Ginindza was shot in the back and the bullet is still lodged on his spinal cord and requires operation at the Mbabane Government Hospital. Already there are calls for blood donation as the hospital has run short of the necessary blood for a successful operation. Meanwhile, as many as 10 families have agreed to send their corpses for examination at Good Shepherd Hospital while the government has been trying to force families to quickly bury their dead relatives or intimidate those in hospitals.

One of the victims of army brutality

In South Africa the African National Congress (ANC) task Team on Conflict, which is chaired by Minister Lindiwe Zulu, has already met Wandlile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) and extensive resolutions agreed to support the people of eSwatini. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is also actively supporting the democratic agenda in eSwatini as demonstrated by their strongly worded statement at SADC’s Troika visit to the country. The party went further and engaged in a border blockade where as many as over 5000 people staged pickets at Oshoek border post in an act of solidarity. The consensus behind the scenes is that more pressure must be piled on the king to be investigated for crimes against humanity.